Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR by Ben Macintyre
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Oddly timely, given the return of Russian spying to the front pages, and a first-rate study of the mechanics and psychology of espionage."
Swift-moving tale of true espionage in the most desperate years of the Cold War. Read full book review >
SCHUMANN by Judith Chernaik
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A sturdy foundation of research and musical knowledge (and love) underlies this inspiring and wrenching account of a man who pursued, captured, and lost."
A guided tour through the life and work of Robert Schumann (1810-1956), a musical genius who viewed the sublime before a decline into a syphilitic madness. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"An indispensable work of popular psychology and sociology."
A simultaneously frothy and substantive tour of female sexual desire. Read full book review >
LEADERSHIP by Doris Kearns Goodwin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"In intimate, knowing ways, Goodwin crafts history as aspiration—or at least inspiration—for readers; let's hope a hefty portion of those readers have titles that begin with Sen. or Rep."
With impeccable timing, the acclaimed historian focuses on the ways four presidents navigated the country through wrenching clashes and crises. Read full book review >
PASSING FOR HUMAN by Liana Finck
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"In its ambition, framing, and multiple layers, this raises the bar for graphic narrative. Even fans of her work in the New Yorker will be blindsided by this outstanding book."
A graphic memoir turns the search for identity inside out as it illuminates the creative process. Read full book review >

LOOKING FOR LORRAINE by Imani Perry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Throughout this animated and inspiring biography, Perry reminds us that the 'battles Lorraine fought are still before us: exploitation of the poor, racism, neocolonialism, homophobia, and patriarchy.'"
An intimate portrait of the artist as a black woman at the crossroads. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"Expertly narrated, with just the right level of detail and drama."
Fast-paced account of a forgotten episode of World War I history. Read full book review >
BECOMING LINCOLN by William W. Freehling
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A must for every Civil War library."
A Bancroft Award-winning historian brings his considerable Civil War expertise to bear in searching for Abraham Lincoln's beginnings and the events that shaped him. Read full book review >
YOUNG BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Nick Bunker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"An engaging, illuminating biography of a captivating figure."
For his first four decades, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) strived for success as a printer, publisher, and journalist. Read full book review >
HEARTLAND by Sarah Smarsh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A potent social and economic message embedded within an affecting memoir."
Journalist Smarsh explores socio-economic class and poverty through an account of her low-income, rural Kansas-based extended family. Read full book review >
AMERICAN PRISON by Shane Bauer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A potent, necessary broadside against incarceration in the U.S., which 'imprisons a higher portion of its population than any country in the world.'"
A penetrating exposé on the cruelty and mind-bending corruption of privately run prisons across the United States, with a focus on the Winn facility in Louisiana. Read full book review >
FLAWED by Andrea Dorfman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2018

"Bold, funny, and brimming with emotional intelligence: a charming debut. (Graphic memoir. 12-adult)"
Illustrated lessons in self-acceptance. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >